Monday, March 30, 2009

Grown Up Katie

March always brings Katie Vinson -- the "Katie Bug" -- to the studio for her birthday session. Definitely one of the nicest parts of my profession is getting to share in these little ones as they grow up. We get to enjoy sitting up and spitting up, standing alone, walking, talking, dance lessons, going off to pre-school and then kindergarten. It really makes me feel a part of their little lives and I love it. Katie turned the big "5" last week and was having a major "princess" party this past weekend with all her friends and family. It made me want to go back and look at those first, precious photos of her when she was 10 days old and had a little face that was smaller than her mother's hand. Now she wears earrings and sparkly shoes and a princess dress and her dad is already figuring out how he'll handle the boy situation when that comes along. I'm afraid it's coming fast!! Happy Birthday, Katie!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Girls Who Twirl!!

We've had a bevy of little girls lately in the 2-3 year old age group with one thing in common -- "NO" is their favorite new word. We didn't take offense; it just added to the challenge of getting their photo. And whether they were "pouty" or jumping around like a jumping bean or sharing the spotlight with a new baby brother like Lauren, they were all fun. Thought I'd share a bit of these three cuties!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Jennifer & Gerry

It's unusual for me to find a local church that I had not visited before but I photographed a wedding this past Saturday at Capehart's near Merry Hill. It was such a beautiful day and Jennifer and Gerry were a great couple. I've been working away today at finishing up their photos so I can get their website launched and thought I'd share a little preview. Didn't Gerry give Jennifer a beautiful necklace for a wedding gift? This man is definitely a keeper!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Great Wedding Idea -- A Personal Guest Register

Lots of couples are looking to make their wedding more personal these days and there's no better way than to create a guest register using the photos from your engagement session. I needed a sample to share with brides and grooms so I just finished this one using one of my favorite couples -- Jessica and Hunter -- from the photos I took of them last summer at the Outer Banks. It's a beautiful, navy bound book and I printed the photos on a flat, matte paper which will make signing it really nice and "non-smeary." I think it will be a wonderful companion on the coffee table next to the wedding album.

Marvelous Mason

I needed a wonderful model to try some new lighting techniques and posing ideas I picked up at the convention, so I contacted little Mason Vann who came right to the rescue for me. He was a real trooper and worked really hard with only one little snack break along the way. Thought I'd share some of our efforts together.

Support the Girl Scouts!!

Be sure and take a few minutes to support our local Girl Scouts by buying some cookies. My little friend above, Meagan Colston, has been a champion cookie seller in Roanoke Rapids and I know all the local troops could use your support. As a former Brownie and Girl Scout myself (as well as an obvious cookie-lover), I'm asking you to do your part.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Northeast Class of 2009

We're getting close to graduation time so I wanted to send out a big "CONGRATS" to the Northeast Class of 2009 with a little video. Seems like we did these senior portraits last week and, before we can blink, you'll be crossing the stage.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I've already mentioned that things are quiet around here in the winter and we do a lot of catching up and cleaning up. I also try and use this time to study some new techniques and work on some skills that I've been trying to find the time to work on all year. One of my goals of the past year (and I'm terribly slow about getting around to it) is to work on portraits using some of the graphics programs and techniques that give them the appearance of an oil portrait or a watercolor or a pastel. I especially want to work on these techniques with children's portraits because I believe that these beautiful, innocent faces grow up so quickly and that we cherish the memory of childhood so dearly.

I decided to sit down over the last day or so and really concentrate on working on one of these. I started with this pastel rendition of Miss Kathryn Long because I always loved this portrait so much and I thought it would lend itself to a lighter medium like a pastel. I want to have it printed on watercolor paper for a really rich look. I'm going to work on an oil next and hope to be able to share my future attempts.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Crystal & David

After the usual winter break, it's wedding time again. The winter months are always pretty quiet with weddings which is why you may have called or emailed and found that I was off on a little trip. But the thaw begins in March and by April weddings will be back at full strength every weekend. I just finished working on the photos of a beautiful young couple, Crystal and David Norton who got married on the 7th in Roanoke Rapids. They got so lucky with that beautiful weekend when the temperature was in the 70's and we were even able to go out on the golf course at Chockoyotte for some pictures. Thought I'd share a few photos from their big day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hatch Man

Little mister Hatch Morris came by for a visit this week and to get his 18-month portrait taken. He's always been a sweetheart and this continued this week. I think we could have taken photos all afternoon. And check out those eyes! We've got a future "chick magnet" right here in Northampton county. And I love the photo where he was doing his Incredible Hulk imitation. Young ladies of the neighborhood need to keep their eye on Mr. Hatch!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hometown Hero

I don't really talk much about the framing we do here at the studio (we do lots) but every now and then someone brings in something to frame that is really fantastic. We just finished such a piece and I HAD to write about it. I hope I'm able to leave this post up and will not embarrass the person I'm writing about but, if he asks me to take it off, I will.

I want to write for a few minutes about Kelly Vinson from Woodland, a genuine local hero who we should all be so proud of. I have to tell a little about my own history with Kelly. Those of you who have known me for a while know that I spent many years working as the high school librarian at Northampton-East High School and I had Kelly with me as a library assistant. I think it's an understatement to say that teenage guys can be a little difficult (unless you're a teenage girl). They can be a bit undisciplined and mischievous and I firmly believe that they can't walk across a 15 foot stretch of floor without tripping over their own feet. At times Kelly could be the personification of a teenage guy -- mostly the mischievous part. One of great joys of working in education is seeing how young people grow and mature and it's always wonderful to run into them several years after high school and see how wonderfully they've turned out. I got to know Kelly again several years ago when his beautiful little Katie was born and he and his wife Sharon brought her in when she was 10 days old for photos. I was so impressed that day with how wonderful Kelly was with this little girl. He was so gentle and loving and he and Sharon were obviously thrilled beyond words with this little person. They came often for photos during Katie's first years and we came to admire and respect both Kelly and Sharon so much.

I remember being a little surprised when I first found out that Kelly was a nurse, mostly because I still had memories of him as a high schooler, but those thoughts went away pretty quickly when I got to know him as a man. He mentioned that he had been in the service and had served overseas as a corpsman in the first Gulf War. When Sharon came in after Christmas and told us that she wanted to frame Kelly's medals for his birthday, we were happy to do that. When she started pulling them out of the boxes, I was speechless. I don't know what all of the medals are but the one in its own special box with the written commendation and certificate to go along with it is the Bronze Star.
I read the commendation with tears in my eyes. Kelly received this honor for heroic service in the first Gulf War with a "V" for valor in combat. The details of his acts are in the certificate for the award and explain how he heroically, and without regard for his own safety, went to the aid of injured soldiers and cared for them. Kelly's other medals are in the frame along with this dog tags and the small flag he carried with him.

I'm terribly afraid that Kelly is going to feel a bit embarrassed that I've written about this here but I have felt very deeply that I wanted to since I first realized the extent of his service to our country. My father was also a veteran and there has always been a special place in my heart for those men and women who served their country. Thank you, Kelly, for what you did for those wounded soldiers and for what you did for all of us.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Little Black Dress

They say every girl needs that perfect "little black dress." I think all of us over the age of two would like for our "everything" dress to be as comfortable as little Miss Hayden Barlow's. Comfort and style together at last!